11
Jul

Music is a universal language and works best when shared.

“Music is what feeling sounds like. Music is what healing sounds like. It has the power to bring people back to life. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It is powerful, and beautiful.” These inspirational words are taken from a letter written by a young woman called Alisha, a patient in a children’s hospital to her friends at the Melodic Caring Project.

The Melodic Caring Project (MCP) is a not-for-profit organisation set up by husband and wife team Levi and Stephanie Ware in Seattle, USA more than a decade ago, offering children and young people in hospital, isolated by their illness’ the opportunity to have live concerts streamed to their rooms free of charge.  The performers give shout outs and dedications throughout the show to the viewers who are called RockSTARS, the kids and their families can watch anonymously or participate in a live chat with other viewers all over the world.

We had the pleasure of having our Leeds Town Hall concert streamed around the globe via MCP to said RockSTARS or JazzSTARS as we renamed them for that particular evening.  Reading the comments and feedback from people in the UK and further afield after the show was mind-blowing, not to mention deeply touching.  As I am wont to say every week on my radio show, “Live music is the very best thing for you” it’s a statement I have always lived by and to have the opportunity to share the music we care about with an unexpected and receptive new audience is a truly wonderful thing.

MCP has only recently launched in the UK thanks to a hook up with James Marples, Marketing Manager of Chesterfield College in Derbyshire.  Media and Childhood Studies students work alongside MCP and Sheffield Children’s Hospital to shoot and stream the concerts, work is ongoing to establish links with other hospitals and hospices across the country.

It’s a win win situation, rewarding for the artists and children watching, but also the students filming our concert, who were a lovely bunch and very grateful to be a part of the project, they gave 100% in both skill and attitude.  Also let’s not forget the audience who paid to come to Leeds Town Hall and who played a massive role in creating a warm and noisy live atmosphere they too enjoyed being part of the process.  Music is a universal language and works best when shared.

28
Jun

Back to basics tasty …

The other night we had a bunch of friends over to eat. They are all brilliant fun and the only challenge when we get together is the menu.  One is mainly vegetarian but will eat fish, one will eat fish and meat with 2 feet (thankfully not humans) but can’t tolerate citrus and another is allergic to onions and garlic oh and gluten.  The other 3 will eat pretty much anything.  It made Muddy and I realise that pretty much everything we eat, other than porridge, is full of alliums, but we’re always up for a challenge.

So for nibbles/starters I nicked an idea from our friend Lynn, chop a cucumber into slices and top with cream cheese and smoked salmon, pepper and lemon slices on the side.  Just in case anyone couldn’t eat cucumber we baked a whole camembert and served with bread and wonderful home-made parmesan biscuits as made by friend Nina for those who could and corn tortilla chips for those who couldn’t, well that was the plan.  In reality we forgot to put out the corn chips but there were potato crisps knocking about.

For main course we grilled ribeye and tuna steaks and served with a one pan dish of sautéed potatoes and mushrooms, chili flakes, mixed beans, spinach, roasted pine nuts and grated parmesan, this recipe usually uses gnocchi, but as it contains flour we substituted new potatoes.  That said I have now learned you can purchase gluten free gnocchi.   We made a tomato salad with mozzarella, olives and tons of olive oil and fresh basil, I’d usually add a load of spring onions or red onion, but it was so lovely without that I’d think twice about adding them again.

We also broke our ‘zero corn’ house rule implemented when living in Glastonbury where food waste is recycled, Alan the dog LOVES corn on the cob and once nicked and swallowed a discarded husk from the food bin, animals can’t digest the husks resulting in a very green puppy.  It’s a shame because Tolly the tortoise loves to eat corn on the cob.  Alan was otherwise distracted whilst finished husks were instantly removed from the table and placed directly into the dustbin.

Pudding was a massive fruit salad with mint and gluten free ice cream.  Back to basics tasty – Meat, fish, cheese, fruit, nuts and veg (except alliums) and no messing – Boom.

24
May

2018 is as busy as ever …

2018 is as busy as ever and as always we are so grateful to our wonderful audience who come out rain or shine to support live music. Hurrah!

As well as touring the brand new show ‘Swing’s The Thing’ with our fabulous Trio and Big Mini Big Band up and down the country other highlights of the year so far include performing with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, Kansas Smitty’s House Band at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, not to mention celebrating the First Ladies of Swing with Guy Barker, The CBSO and special guests Mads Mathias, ROB.GREEN and Ben Cipolla at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

As 2018 rolls on, in amongst our usual hectic UK touring schedule, we’ll take time out to join a traditional paddle steamer in New Orleans, entertaining the guests cruising down the Mississippi as well as performing with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (hr-Big Band) in Luzerne.

Work has begun on a new record which we’re hoping to release by the end of the year but will keep you posted.

Is it too early to mention Christmas?  Following on from the success of our long running and much loved Festive Fiesta now in it’s 387th year, this seasonal musical treat just got bigger! Now accompanied by our top flight 9 piece Big Mini Big Band, we will be serving up a sensational cocktail of seasonal fayre and musical highlights of 2018 kicking off at The Great Hall, Swansea The Great Hall, Swansea on Dec 1st and heading to Birmingham Town Hall on Dec 15th so come and join in the fun!

From  Duo, Trio, Big Mini Big Band to 18 piece roaring big band or full orchestra,  if you’re looking for an evening of live music that is upbeat and uplifting to extreme and  performed by the very best, check out our Live Dates for a venue near you!
23
Jan

Swing’s The Thing

We’re swinging into 2018 with the ‘Swing’s The Thing’. 

This brand new show sees Clare and her excellent musicians effortlessly traverse a rich landscape of timeless and sparkling material, with standards from the grand masters of the Great American Song Book, Cole Porter & Rodgers & Hart, to witty urbane song stylists of the 50’s & 60’2 Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh & Dave Brubeck, there’s always a not to more contemporary writers and originals too.

So check out our listings page for a venue near you and join us for a celebration of popular music from the golden age of song that guarantees to be upbeat and uplifting to the extreme!

 

09
Nov

CLARE TEAL TOPS THE VOCALS CATEGORY AT BRITISH JAZZ AWARDS 2017

The winners of the British Jazz Awards 2017 were announced late on Wed 8th November.  Featuring a broad array of jazz talent and now in their 31st year they are the only poll that gives jazz lovers up and down the country the chance to vote on who their favourite musicians, bands and albums have been in the last 12 months.

Teal, who has previously won the British Jazz Awards for vocals in 2005, 2007 and 2015, is a sought after singer throughout the country with her stunning voice, encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz, swing and big band music, and her innate warmth as well as a prolific recording artist and popular BBC Radio 2 broadcaster.

Clare Teal says ‘It is an honour to win any award and as the British Jazz Awards are voted by the public it is pretty special to win for a fourth time particularly with the stellar line-up of nominees.   So a big thank you to those who gave me their vote and a massive congratulations to all the other winners and nominees’.

Click here for the full list of winners and nominees

26
May

#WeStandTogether

All of Manchester’s communities stand together in strength, resilience and love.

In this most musical of cities, Manchester’s orchestral musicians from the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata will come together with The Bridgewater Hall for a concert in support of the families and friends of the victims of last Monday’s atrocity.

The event details are:

  • Thursday 1 June at 8pm
  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Sir Mark Elder and Stephen Bell will conduct members of the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and BBC Philharmonic orchestras
  • Performances by Clare Teal, Alice Coote and Guy Garvey

The evening will include inspiring and uplifting classical music, a performance by Alice Coote – one of the world’s finest mezzo sopranos – as well as songs from international jazz star Clare Teal and award-winning singer-songwriter Guy Garvey.

Everyone involved with the event are giving their services free. Tickets for the concert are free, but you MUST have a ticket to gain entry.

We are asking people, if they are able, to make a donation to the WeStandTogetherManchester Justgiving page at

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester.

You can get the latest information, details on admission and book tickets by visiting www.halle.co.uk/westandtogether. You can also contact the box office on 0161 907 9000. The Bridgewater Hall has waived its usual ticket charge. You will need your tickets to gain entry to the building.

Please check the Hallé link above for updated information as it is confirmed.

05
May

OUR 2017 PROM IS ANNOUNCED!

Royal Albert Hall, 3pm Sunday 27th August 2017

Tickets on sale from 9am Saturday 13th May 2017 

From Stomps and Shuffles, Boogie-Woogie, Blues, Bebop to Latin, ‘Swing No End’   promises another powerful and upbeat slice of musical action from the 1930’s & 1940’s.

Featuring 2 roaring big bands and special guests battling against each other led by Guy Barker and Winston Rollins, singer and broadcaster Clare Teal, takes us another journey celebrating the triumphs of big band greats including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmie Lunceford, Boyd Raeburn, Machito, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman.

 

04
May

Twelve O’Clock Tales Is Here!

Our new album, Twelve O’Clock Tales, accompanied by the wonderful Hallė orchestra launched at The Bridgewater Hall on Saturday 30th April.

Conducted by Stephen Bell and arranged by British composer and trumpet maestro Guy Barker and celebrated jazz pianists Grant Windsor and Jason Rebello, Twelve O’Clock Tales’ rich jazz infused repertoire, with songs from Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn and  Tim Rice, made famous by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, includes ‘Sans Souci’, ‘Secret Love’, ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Lush Life’, ‘It Might As Well Be Spring’, ‘Wild Is The Wind’ and ‘Paradisi Carousel